Americus has a boating spirit - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Americus has a boating spirit

(WALB image) (WALB image)
Chad Roberson (WALB image) Chad Roberson (WALB image)
Fred Sperry (WALB image) Fred Sperry (WALB image)
Christopher Smith (WALB image) Christopher Smith (WALB image)
AMERICUS, GA (WALB) -

South Georgia is a bit of a boat-building mecca with several manufacturers in our area. One of the newest is growing rapidly and entering into a new partnership with one of the biggest names in motor sports.

H2O Sports Manufacturing opened in Americus just a year and a half ago with only five employees. Today they have more than 10 times that number.

"Americus has a boat-building background, and we've been able to capture 52 of the best boat builders in the area," said Chad Roberson H2O Sports  President.

Those boat builders now send nine boats a week out of this facility to dealers in about 20 states. H2O has already outgrown this plant, but it's a great problem to have. The company is now looking for a second Americus location.

And more growth is coming. "We look to hire another 30 people this calendar year," Roberson said.

H2O is developing a cutting edge line of skiffs that will exclusively use Honda motors, and the folks at Honda Marine are thrilled with the new partnership. "Oh, the culture here is just fantastic," said Fred Sperry Honda Marine Sr. Application Engineer. "The people have come to us with open arms. If we need something done, it gets done. Recommendations are taken with full enthusiasm."

Christopher Smith has been building boats for 22 years. He's now building the first model for the new Trophy line for Honda that will be unveiled in late July. "Once we come to the finish level, we'll pull a mold off of it. The mold will go into production, and they will replicate the model over and over again," Smith said.

They expect to build 400 Trophy boats in the first year with new models to come. "As long as we take care of our dealers and as long as we take care of the customer after the retail sale and build a quality product, H2O will continue to grow," Roberson said.

And continue to provide jobs for south Georgians and endless fun for boat enthusiasts around the country.

H2O chose Americus for three reasons. The climate is right for the resin to set on the boats. The location is right to deliver boats to the Gulf Coast and up and down the Atlantic Coast. And the workforce has the right experience, dedication, and work ethic.

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